Monday, May 31, 2010

Me-Made-March/May... random thoughts

Recently I read about a new blog I thought I'd like to know more about. It's called So Zo and the reason it was being talked about on one of the blogs I already read is because she was doing Me-Made March. Zoe then went on to do Me-Made May and invited anyone who was interested along.

The concept of Me-Made-March/May was to spend a month wearing either nothing but what you made (excluding undies, socks, etc) or at least something that you made each and every day in a month. (That's the simplified version, for more detail check out her blog)

What a cool idea I thought (and still do!) but I couldn't do it. I couldn't even get close! Why? Because I haven't sewn for myself in years. :-( I have virtually nothing in my closet that I have made in recent years and what is costuming.

So I started to think; why haven't I made anything for myself in years? Here are some of my thoughts on the matter.

Not a lot of time (yeah, so who has?!?!)
More fun to sew for the girls - they're smaller and I love instant gratification.
My sewing room isn't - it's spread out all over the place. (currently 3 different locations plus what I bring out to work on while I'm watching TV sitting on the couch.)
I'm oddly shaped. Yeah, I know, who isn't? But my shaped changed a while ago and since it was right around the time the girls were small and I was sewing for them....well it made it hard to get back into sewing for me; none of the patterns I owned fit and it was just easier doing my sewing for the girls.

So, what can I do about it? I think 2 things are in order for me for the next while;
1- continue working on getting my sewing room into the Pink room upstairs instead of all over the place
2 - work on some basic slopers for myself (and hey maybe for the girls while I'm at it). I know that if I had a proper, fit to me,  sloper so that I could alter the patterns I have to fit me, I'd be a lot more inclined to sew for me.

I have a great set of books that I got a while ago at a garage sale (I kind of collect old sewing books). They are both on making patterns from your basic sloper. One of the books if for women, the 2nd smaller one, for kids.
I think one of my biggest challenges will be the fact that I'm not even front to back. I know, I know, technically no one is but I'm a little more out of propertion than usual. Which probably explains why stuff never really fits me that well. Well, that and ready to wear never really fits anyone well.

Anyway, back to my body shape - after my 2nd daughter was born I made what turned out to be a bad medical choice which ultimately (over a period of about 18 months) caused me to gain about 65 lbs. (Actually I gain more than that but I kept losing in between. 65 lbs was the final result. I have since lost about 17 lbs of it and I hope to keep that up.) Now I've never been a small girl to begin with but this was more than I was comfortable with.
I also gained most of it (or at least that's how it seems) in my stomach area. I'm flat in the butt to begin with and now my front to back ratio is really out of porportion. At this point I'm not sure about how badly "off" I am but I know it's there. If I buy something that fits in overall width at the waist - the side seams skew to the front. If I buy something to fits the front so my seams are straight - I have a lot of extra room in the back. :-(
I have also figured out that my waist in big in proportion to my hips. By looking at catalogues and patterns I know that there should be about 10" difference between the two. I have about 6" difference. That means that when I buy pants to fit my waist they don't really fit my hips; they're too big. No wonder I'm rarely happy in how I look in pants!

So, I'm going to write here, for all the world to see, that I'm going to work on both these issues over the summer (while still working on aprons, Hallowe'en projects and SCA) so that by the time Self-Stitched-September comes along I will at least be able to join a couple of days (or more!) out of the month. And hopefully I'll have some clothes that actually fit!


Sunday, May 30, 2010

Apron picture

Alrighty! Here's some pictures of my new apron. The first of many I think.
I can see needing more of these for sure. Like one for Christmas and one for Hallowe'en, and one....just because! LOL They're fun and functionally and really, can someone only have one apron? I don't think so!
Besides I'm sure I have more material that I bought for the girls when they were little and never used. For example on top of the kitties was a white material with fruit of some kind. Sounds good for an apron, yes? With it being a white background I think I would change it up a bit and probably use that for the top sides that are pink here, then use a solid for the middle and bottom. Somehow I don't think white would be as forgiving to food mess as the kitties will be.
Hey, did you know that May 10th was National Apron Day? I'm pretty sure that's only in the US but still, how funny that just a few weeks later I have my first apron made. Hmmm I wonder if I read about it somewhere and then my subconscious spit out the idea to me later. 
Well, that's it for today. I have to go check in the stash and see what I have for aprons and then plan some more sewing. 


Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's done!

My new apron is done! YAY
Sadly it's about to get a workout because it's close to dinner time which means I don't have the light or the time to take a picture.
Hopefully tomorrow it will still be clean and we'll have a little sunshine. I'm not overly hopeful about either, but I'll keep my fingers crossed!


Friday, May 28, 2010

Apron progress

Can you believe it? 2 days in a row I got sewing done. My dream of a new apron could well come true before the end of the weekend! YAY.
So today I got all the parts sewn together except for the ties, which go on later. I got to the fabric store and picked up my bias binding. I decided on black. It should be a nice and bold contrast. What do you think?

I was originally thinking of white but then thought - not for me in a kitchen! Not a good mix people. It would be like oil and water....or worse LOL
So, the binding is about 70% done but I'm getting tired and it's getting darker and I don't have great light in the pink room yet. Plus I've already sewn off the edge once so it's time to quit for today. After all, it's only Friday so I still have 2 more days to finish it.


Thursday, May 27, 2010


Finally some time at the computer when I'm not being nagged (both dd's are mad at me right now)

Finally caught up on the laundry from the weekend away and sewing plans (adapting patterns figuring out needs vs wants and adjusting patterns) .

Finally a day without a list of errands to do.

Finally some sewing! and it's for me!!!!

That's right, after spending almost all of my week off (okay technically 3 days, since Monday was a holiday and Friday's I usually have off anyway) running around doing errands I finally had a day to myself to spend sewing.

Ironically I spent the day sewing Simplicity 3544 (a retro apron pattern, view A...mostly) while watching Julia Roberts in Mona Lisa Smile. Ironic because a good part of the movie is about feminism, women's rights and getting out of the kitchen and being Susie Homemaker with the perfect house and the perfect family.
No worries, I love a bit  of good irony now and again and since I'm making the choice for this apron I think Julia's character Katherine would be okay with it.
The move also has some great costuming (when I was actually watching and not sewing) and I think it's a movie I could watch again and that my girls should see. They should now that the freedom of choice that they have now wasn't always there.

On to the sewing.
So first I took the pattern and did some modifications. I NEED an apron (I'm a messy cook and I'm tired of changing after dinner LOL) and I need one quickly so I started by eliminating some of the curved details that would make it slower to sew; namely off the pocket and off the bottom. I kept the shoulder curves 'cause I like them and I'm funny that way!
I also some width to the front and the back (easiest place to do them and I'm being all about speed with this!) as the pattern isn't big enough for me.
Once I finished with that it was time to see what I had to make it out of. Since we went to Seattle for the long weekend and did a fair bit of shopping (hey! We had $13 left in the amount we could claim! LOL) I needed to be able to source this from the stash.
I couldn't find enough of anything to make the apron but eventually I did find two that sort of went together and that I hoped would be enough. With some judicious placement they were although I will admit to ignoring grain lines where necessary. Heck, it's an apron, who cares right?
The pattern one I'm pretty sure I bought for C when she was little; she's 13 now and wouldn't be caught dead in it. The plain....not sure! Here's how they look together
Don't you just love the cute kitty?He has some cute friends too!
As of right now I have almost all the sewing done except for the ties (forgot to cut them out) and the bias binding around the edges. I'll probably bye white binding tomorrow but....I'm going to go cut out the ties now. 


Thursday, May 13, 2010

It's done!!

That's right! I finished the skirt for S to wear tomorrow! yay me!
Now, to be honest I cheated a bit (elastic waist) and it doesn't have a hem (it might have but we went for ice cream instead!) but it's done and it's wearable. In 3 days!!!!! 
I know that for some people that's not a big deal, but for me it's HUGE. And who knows, if I get up early enough tomorrow..... maybe a hem too?


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Sewing Room Progress

My apologies for confusing everyone by seeming to post 2 entries the same day. The last post was actually written May 3rd but my computer ate it or something.
Now for todays actual post.
Progress has been made! I now have a cutting surface installed in the Pink Room (since it's not really the sewing room and C isn't using it we're compromising and calling it the pink room - her walls are all pink) and I need it because Miss S came home yesterday and told me she need something to wear that's "1909".
And she needs it by Friday!

It's her school's 100th birthday this year and her class is 1909. well, never one to resist a costuming challenge we got the cutting table moved upstairs and got some material and researched an "okay" skirt for 1909. It's loosely based on this pattern at the Costumer's Manifesto. Not as fancy, elastic waist for speed and convenience and shorter of course.
I drafted the pattern this afternoon at lunch and cut it out tonight.
Sew tomorrow might actually get done on time; fastest costume I've ever done. But now, I need to get back to work.


A new sewing room

No actual sewing progress was made this weekend but some sewing prep is definitely in the works.

This weekend I read through some more sewing stuff and worked on clearing out my DD1s room in prep for making it the sewing room, at least in the short term. Originally when we moved in to this house I picked one of the downstairs rooms as my sewing room/guest room. It wasn't the best solution as it's a small room and my cutting table ended up in the room across the hall, but it wasn't too bad.
Then last summer C said her room was too warm in the summer (she has a loft bed and LOTS of sun in her room) and she moved into the guest room.
Well, I have to tell you that a sleeping teenager does not make for a lot of work going on in the sewing room. And I have a lot of work planned.
First up are these patterns.

And these.
 Yes, I'm going to have something new to wear for Hallowe'en for once! But only if I start soon.

Plus we've decided to think about getting back into the SCA and that's going to involve sewing and C has said she wants a set of these! And that's some major sewin' baby!!!
Since she agreed to pay half the cost of the patterns, I have to think she's serious.
And of course if big sister gets new garb then little sister will want some too! Yeah, I need a room for sewing that's not inhabited by a teenager!